Screw Driver

Tragic love life of Kiambu tycoon who didn’t want kids, hated being conned!

Gun holder Jonathan Mukundi was furious wife Philomena Njeri was pregnant, had opened spare parts shop for lover. But an autopsy revealed she was not paged

Death comes as the end: A filthy rich but hot-tempered and jealous spare parts dealer Jonathan Mukundi and his fetching wife Philomena Njeri, who loved burning his money on the fast lane. Their rocky marriage was peppered with endless domestic squabbles over inability to have children. Njeri confessed to carrying another man’s child and Mukundi, a gun holder pumped four slugs into Njeri’s 30 year old head and abdomen before turning the Glock pistol on himself at their home in Kirigiti, Kiambu County on August 3. But an autopsy report revealed she was not paged, according Chief Government Pathologist Johannsen Oduor.

By Shifa Mwihaki

Feature writer/Essayist

@UndercoverKe

Cute Philomena Njeri, who was recently shot thrice by her hubby before turning the Glock pistol on himself, desired the finer things in life since her high school days at Kerugoya Girls.

Little wonder later in life she had champagne for breakfast, was on endless holidays, hosted parties.

And it all started when the bubbly girl from Kirinyaga County joined Zetech University and while out clubbing, met Jonathan Mukundi Gachunga, a loaded spare parts dealer and tenderpreneur with interests in petroleum. Njeri did not think twice about marrying the hot-tempered licensed gun holder 12 years her senior. After all, she did not have to tarmac for elusive employment.

Njeri, a Johnnie Walker lover, was a party animal. That did not go down well with Mukundi, a miraa chewer who loved booze

Cat among the pigeons: Njeri desired the finer things in life since her high school days at Kerugoya Girls (above). In May 2018 she wrote on her Instagram page: ‘If you can’t change it; leave it; If you still can’t leave it join it. #neverstress if it’s not money.’
Nairobi based psychiatrist Dr Elizabeth Ngarachu, named jealousy, obsession, fear of abandonment, estrangement, break ups, divorce, religious delusions and mental illness as reasons why men murder for love.

Njeri managed Mukundi’s spare parts businesses in Nairobi before returning to their home squatting on a half acre in Kirigiti, Kiambu County. It took Mukundi seven years to construct his dream mansion, said a neighbour.

But their marriage and flashy lifestyle was dogged by myriad problems: Njeri, a Johnnie Walker lover, was a party animal. That did not go down well with Mukundi, a miraa chewer who loved booze.

He was even erecting an in-house pub-despite doctors warning him to go easy on the bottle. But worse still, with all their money and after 10 years together, siring children was a frustrating challenge.

Njeri wanted a family and was getting pissed off going home to their dozen assorted dogs

Sparing no parts: Njeri did not have to worry about money. Mukundi had made truckloads of it buying and stripping off insurance salvage vehicles for his spare parts business. For rides, Njeri could choose between several Toyotas including a Prado, Vanguard  and Crown. Reports of femicide have been on the rise in Kenya and in her case, returning home with another man’s pregnancy after five months away could have triggered Mukundi’s volatile rage.

Mukundi, allegedly could not sire children, according to friends, but Njeri wanted a family and was getting pissed off going home to their 12 assorted dogs including German Shepherds and bulldogs, one of them called Bingo.

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Domestic quarrels were not making matters easier: The couple argued endlessly about children with Mukundi suspecting Njeri was having a fling including a lover she was said to have opened a vehicle spare parts shops for.

I face the consequences that come with my decisions. I thought you should know

Loaded like a gun: Mukundi and Njeri during their many holidays. He often suspected Njeri was pinching cash and if there was something Mukundi hated with all his heart, it was being conned of cash. The quid she was salting away included some money set aside for a crib he was constructing for her mum.

Njeri’s online life was a distillation of her high life and thoughts. On April 5, 2020 she wrote: ‘When it comes to my life, I make the decisions, I live it and I face the consequences that come with my decisions. I thought you should know.’

Later that month when the pandemic inspired curfews and lockdowns were ravaging businesses including Mukundi’s, she wrote under #TruthbombWednesday: ‘Most men are not running away from a great woman. They are running away from parts of themselves they are not willing to fix to deserve her.’

Njeri had begged ‘August be nice.’ August, the month of endless deaths was not

Crooked House: Njeri wanted children beyond going home to their 12 assorted dogs including the one named ‘Bingo’ (above). Casual labourers at their home said Mukundi was not a womanizer. He had a carwash in Thindigua along Kiambu road. Carwash guys often found used condoms in Njeri’s car. Mukundi got wind of her affairs but often said Njeri was the love of his life, either way.

Their domestic tiffs saw them living apart for months on end. Actually, before Mukundi pumped three bullets into Njeri’s 30 year old head, she had just returned since leaving their matrimonial home in March-when she turned 30.

One neighbour recalled him mouthing how his marriage was taking him up the wall while Njeri had begged ‘August be nice.’ August, the month of endless deaths, accidents, fires and hurricanes was not.

It was the last time they were seen alive after going home, hugging and kissing

Evil under the sun: Njeri during a hot air balloon safari to the Masai Mara Game Reserve. Despite a seemingly happy life, many marriages faced endless cracks after the pandemic exposed the underbelly of most relationships, businesses and jobs.
Njeri’s murder and Mukundi’s suicide thus brings to the fore many post-pandemic issues including increasing cases of infidelity, separations, divorces. Many couples have also discovered secret spouses, families, children.

Friends said they met at a restaurant along Kiambu road to patch up their domestic issues and Njeri revealed she had gotten pregnant in the five months they lived apart. An autopsy, however, has indicated she was not paged. They left the venue separately and it was only later when Mukundi drove into a wall outside his home (as he often did when high like a kite) that he called Njeri to gas over and help.

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It was the last time they were seen alive that August 3rd when they got into their home, hugging and kissing. Cops found the couple lying dead in bed-just as Mukundi had hinted to close friends something terrible was about to happen after his meeting with Njeri at the restaurant.

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